High Blood Pressure May Hasten Osteoporosis, Bone Aging

High Blood Pressure May Hasten Osteoporosis

Pointers at Glance

  • The study done by researchers on mice indicates that high blood pressure can accelerate bone aging and potentially lead to osteoporosis.
  • Experts say high blood pressure can impact bone strength by changing the blood flow to the bones and bone marrow.
  • They say the risk of osteoporosis can be lessened by eating a healthy diet, regular exercise that includes weight lifting, avoiding smoking & excessive amounts of alcohol.

According to a study presented at the 2022 American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Session, high blood pressure may speed up osteoporosis and bone aging.

The study was conducted on 45 mice, divided into four groups:

  1. 9 older mice without high blood pressure
  2. 11 older mice with induced high blood pressure
  3. 13 young mice without induced high blood pressure
  4. 12 young mice with induced high blood pressure

The human age equivalent for the older mice was 47 to 56 years, and for the young mice was 20 to 30 years.

The mice with induced high blood pressure got the hormone angiotensin II for six weeks. At the end of six weeks, the researchers analyzed bone health for all four groups. They determined bone health by the density and strength of the bone.

The young mice with induced high blood pressure had the following:

  • An 18% deduction in thickness of the sponge-like trabecular bone at the end of long bones, similar to femurs or the spinal column.
  • A 24% reduction in bone volume.
  • A 34% reduction in the estimated ability of bones to withstand different types of force, called failure force, can lead to weaker bones and fractures later in life.

The older mice given the hormone to induce high blood pressure did not have such a significant reduction in bone health.

Lead author of the study and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, Elizabeth Hennen, said “In these mice, being hypertensive at a younger age essentially old bones as if they were 25 human years older. Old mice will suffer bone loss whether they are hypertensive or not. This study shows that high blood pressure may trigger a pathway like effectively aging young bones, age-related bone loss.”

Hennen explained that it has become clear that high blood pressure is at least partly an inflammatory disease. They found that high blood pressure and aging activate specific cells implicated in high blood pressure and osteoporosis.

The researchers said they trust that the results indicate a need to screen people with high blood pressure for osteoporosis. They hope new approaches to get rid of osteoporosis are developed as knowledge of this topic increases.

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